Korean Boys &Black Girls, Part 1: Three Questions That Need To Be Answered

Jaejoong in 2008 when DBSK was still together~These days boys from South Korea are really popular, but back in 2008 they were just boys at my university to me; and, the horror stories on the internet that almost scared me away from them haven’t changed– that much. But, I wasn’t scared away. In the end, who could have resisted the charms of Jae Joong, DBSK, and all the Korean boys that followed…

 


My “First” Korean Boy

Back then I had Statistics with a Korean boy– actually the second or third Korean boy I had ever met in my entire life, and no, he didn’t look like a Korean idol. But, we happened to go to the same party. I went and said hi to him first, and we ended up drinking and dancing together. We became Facebook friends and talked often, but later– somehow, I was deleted from his Facebook. I thought he had deleted me, but he apologized and explained what happened as soon as he found out that his friends had done it as a joke. Suddenly, I was aware of our differences, and I had to ask myself these three questions:

“Are Koreans racist?”

“Do Korean boys like black girls?”

“Can I meet and date a nice Korean boy?”

Since then, I have found the answers to the questions I had; and, I want to share my answers with you, because they just might give you the courage you need to follow your heart.

Koreans are Probably Not as Racist as You Think They Are

Koreans are still very xenophobic, which is characterized by an irrational fear of that which is perceived as foreign or strange. Meaning, they’re just not used to seeing and might not like foreigners, especially black foreigners. For example, Koreans often stare at black foreigners.  When I went to Korea, I literally got goosebumps because I realized everyone around was watching me as I walked down a street in Apgujeong with my friend. But, don’t take the Korean stare the wrong way. Sometimes, they are staring out of genuine curiosity. If you smile, they might even smile back. Even if they do say or do something rude or disrespectful to you, be polite and respectful to them. Not everyone will be willing to accept you for who you are, but you should be willing to try to change their minds by making a good first and last impression.

Tip: If you speak a little or a lot of Korean and show that you are familiar with their culture, Koreans tend be very warm and welcoming.

Korean Boys Like (Some) Black Girls

Lee Da Hae~Koreans tend to have one standard of beauty for both men and women. Their ideal women tend to be pale and thin, with big eyes, a small nose, and an oval, or “V” shaped jaw line. They also idealize long, straight hair, although the ocean wave is also a hot trend in Korea. In addition, Koreans find pale skin tones cute and innocent and tanned skin tones sexy. Beyonce is the perfect example of a black woman who is popular with Korean men, because she is tanned and has a “glamorous,” curvy body. Many idols like Hyosung, Hyomin, and Ailee are known as “The Korean Beyonce.”

However, Naomi Campbell is also very popular in Korea, and they call her Victoria Secret’s “Shining Black Pearl.”

Korean boys and men also appreciate stylish girls and women, as well as girls and women of all shades, shapes, and sizes; although, there does seem to be a general preference for paler, smaller, skinnier girls and women.

American girls and women can sometimes fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to fashion, so I suggest looking your absolute best at least– no matter what size you are, which will definitely turn heads and land smiles. You might even get a few compliments, which is always a great way to start a conversation. This might seem shallow, but Koreans are very concerned with first impressions and image!

Tip: Special K can help you drop inches off your waist and thighs within weeks. Circle lenses are also a fun beauty trick that make your eyes look bigger.

Meeting and Dating a Nice Korean Boy: Don’t Break The Three Golden Rules

First, what are the Three Golden Rules– that you’ve probably never heard of, right?

1. Learn to speak Korean– even a little. 2. Don’t meet Korean boys or men in clubs. 3. Never sleep with a Korean boy or man that you just met, especially if you met him at a club and he tries to take you to a love motel! Most girls ignore the importance of the first rule and break the second and third rule. But, Korean boys or men might try to sleep with you very quickly because they think foreign girls and women, especially American girls and women, are open about having sex. However, they will probably lose interest in you if you sleep with them too soon, especially if you don’t actually speak the same language and don’t or either can’t find out whether or not you actually have anything in common.

So, you should either talk about what you want from each other upfront or just wait until you get to know each other before having sex. I think this goes for any relationship with anyone, though!

Tip: When you meet Korean boys or men, they probably won’t know anything about you except for what they have seen on TV. So, work hard to help them get to know you and be patient with their questions about your skin or hair.


These answers aren’t good or bad, and you might have different ones based on your own experiences.

However, keep an open mind and an open heart, and someone special– Korean or not, will feel your sincerity and genuinely welcome you, help you, and grow to understand and even love you.

Finally, be sure to check out Korean Boys (and Me) and Korean Boys and Black Girls, Part 2: Its Not That Complicated (Or Is It?). In the first post, I’ll talk more about my relationships with Korean boys, including my best friend from college and my ex-boyfriend. In the second post, I’ll talk more about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend and offer some advice on how to overcome the language, cultural, and even physical barriers that come with being in an interracial relationship.

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47 responses to “Korean Boys &Black Girls, Part 1: Three Questions That Need To Be Answered

  1. I love the way you broke down all of the different scenarios and situations that you may come across in Korea, instead of just talking about your experience. I’ve loved the Korean culture for a long time, and have been thinking about going to visit the country someday. I was hesitant to go to S. Korea for the reasons you have talked about, but now I’m definitely going to find a way to go. Since I’m still in high school, I’ll probably try and find a way to get into the foreign exchange program. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    • Part of why I started blogging was because of that reason: just to offer a new, perhaps more accurate portrayal of what its like to be black in Korea.

      I want more girls, especially black girls, to realize that we can explore new frontiers with confidence, happiness, and success!^^ So, good luck with your adventure! Don’t give up until you get there~

      Please email me at any time if you need help with anything: westerngirlxeasternboy@gmail.com.
      <3

      • If you live in a pluralistic environment where there are people from many different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds interacting regularly in their daily lives, then you are more likely to see interracial, including Black women/Korean men couples. I live in the SF Bay Area, am Korean, was married to a Latin woman, am currently engaged to a Black women, and have dated both white and Asian women. While it may be somewhat rare to see Black women dating Korean men in Korea, it also has to be taken into account that Korean men may not have much interaction on a regular basis with Black women; however, if one were to look at cities in the US like Los Angeles, New York, SF Bay Area, Chicago; it would be more common to see Korean men and Black women dating. Also, l have seen many Black women/Korean men couples in Brazil where there is a large population of both people of African origin as well as Korean, too.

        • Oh wow, thanks for sharing and congrats on your engagement!^^

          I’m in Korea now and once again realizing how few black women there are here as compared to other parts of the world, so you are definitely right.

  2. Hi there! First I wanted to say that I just found your blog, and it’s so great!!!! Your positivity is completely uplifting =) and, of course, as a black girl myself I’m always so excited to see blogs from other black girls interested in Korea~

    Really, the last thing I want to do is kill all the good energy you have going on with this blog, but you are the first person whom I feel like could really give a thoughtful answer to this question (it’s one that’s honestly been gnawing at my confidence all summer), so I’m gonna risk it:

    Have you ever felt like you’ve been pushed aside by a Korean guy for a white girl? Korean media combined with the preference for pale skin makes the attraction to white women understandable, but, it still hurts to see Korean production teams (?) elevate white girls just…because they’re white. I spent a summer in Korea as well, and sure, I made out with enough sleazy guys at clubs, but I literally watched a group of guys applaud a guy who was kissing a white girl. Obviously that’s gross behavior, but still. What’s more, I met a guy through language exchange who tells me he loves Anne Hathaway and Russian women for their pale skin, but then says he’s finding that “real beauty is in African-American women,” but can’t name a single black celebrity he finds beautiful (I don’t believe he’s a bad guy, just fairly confused). Really, I’m just so lost about how to navigate potentially romantic relationships with men who have been told by the media (and inevitably believe, consciously or otherwise) that white beauty is the best thing available. Like, I’m going back to Korea for a year starting this August, and despite the experience there I already have I KNOW I’m going to be constantly asking myself, even if he seems like a good guy, what am I to him compared to a white girl? So, I guess…do you have any opinions/advice related to that?

    If not, that’s fine (also sorry this was so long) — at the very least, just know that your blog is totally excellent. Have a lovely day/evening! ^_^ <333

    • Hi, thanks for reading!^^
      Long comment gets a long answer, so get ready~

      First, my ex-boyfriend is Korean– like, ULTRA Korean. He was in America for just six months before we met. I know I mention a few Korean guys that I dated casually, but I haven’t mentioned the ones that I’ve dated seriously.

      Second, some Koreans actually have a preference for tan, darker skin and black girls. Trust me, I’ve met plenty.

      (BTS: I speak Korean almost fluently and have for some time now, so I think I meet more Korean guys and go to more “Korean” places just because there is no language barrier between us. Koreans are so shy about speaking English sometimes, and most of them don’t speak English anyway!)

      So, those Korean guys at the club– they are actually being insulting not to you, but to the white girl they are objectifying. They don’t really like her, they just want to prove something and explore what they see only on TV.

      (Of course, this is only in relation to clubs. Many happy amww couples out there!^^)

      As for the guy who couldn’t name a black celebrity even though he found black women pretty– my oppa told me he reads poetry, but he couldn’t name a single poet or poem. I don’t know if that means anything except he hasn’t thought about it seriously– he just feels it, does it. Whatever.
      + Koreans know two black women: Beyonce and Naomi. That’s about it.

      Now, to answer your question:
      Korean production teams may not actually get much access to black women. There really aren’t that many black women in Korea.

      And, I haven’t ever felt like I was pushed aside. I modeled, I did a shoot for Kpop video, I got jobs teaching and tutoring.

      Basically, I think you need to find your “compass” that will help you navigate through the Korean maze and find someone who will really talk to you, appreciate you, and love you.

      Anyway, you basically just need to meet more Korean guys!^^

      Anymore questions? Whew~

  3. Hey… I really like your blog and it’s really interesting to see a different perspective in about dating and being a black woman in Korea. You give a lot of good advice and I appreciate your tips. However I have a little bit of a problem with one thing in this post. I am a black woman with curves, not really chunky, I don’t have much of a tummy, but my thighs and behind are….quite substantial. I know you recommended a tip about using “Special K” to loose weight, however I really don’t know if I’d be comfortable changing myself so drastically just to be able to date in Korea. (I love my thighs, my butt and all of my curves!) Do Korean men expect foreigners, or even more specifically, black women to maintain the weight and size of an average Korean woman? Or is a little fat really THAT big of a problem. Thanks so much! :)

    • First, thank you so much!^^
      So, the Special K thing is for girls who want to lose weight, but you definitely don’t need to lose weight if you don’t want to!
      Korean men and even Koreans in general expect us to be black, which means curves, right? I know I gained weight since coming back to America, and its all been on my boobs and butt, which are two parts of my body that Korean boys (and some girls) love even more now.
      As far as dating, your biggest issue isn’t really how you look, its being able to talk to a Korean guy to find out his interests– mainly whether or not he interested in you!
      Because, I bet a lot of Korean boys like black girls, but don’t know how to approach us and get things started, and the same thing can be said about black girls who like Korea boys~
      So, its NOT a problem at all.
      ^^

  4. Isn’t that picture of Lee Da Hae not Kim Tae Hee??? Otherwise the look EXACTLY the same from the side…

  5. Ah, why didn’t I read this sooner! haha. I loved this! So true on so many different levels. Especially the club guys (Korean and non-Korean). They can get a little aggressive every now and then. I really do need to read more of your posts. You have soooooooo much good information. ^^

    • Wow, I always hear the strangest rumors from people, and I don’t know where they come from! >.<
      I, very briefly, dated a guy that I met at YG's club. He was a really good dancer, and he knew a bunch of the other dancers there– the professional dancers, like back-up dancers.
      Later when we were getting dinner he told me he used to train idols in dancing, like G-Dragon, Taeyang, &even Zelo, but that was back in the day.
      As far as I know he is a manager now, and he told me some stories about some of his foreigner trainees when we were together, because he (at first) encouraged me to find an agency.
      Honestly, later, I think part of him was scared that I would just use him for his connections, so we stopped talking about his job. BUT, he did tell me he works in Sansung-dong, and so that probably means he works at J.Tune.

      http://kpoplists.com/post/3637677540

      We still talk now, and he is waiting for me to go back so we can hang out again!^^
      I mention him (BGUN) here; and BTW, after I scolded him, he said that we should go out to Itaewon, but I was already on to the next one by then: http://westerngirleasternboy.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/my-summer-in-korea-part-3-dating/

  6. Thank you for this blog. I am so envious of you…lol. I am 42 years old and have always loved Korean men but with my age, the fact that I am black and live halfway across the world it just isn;t going to happen. But I do feel better after reading your post because for the most part I thought they were racists. I am glad to know they are not.

    Have a blessed day

    • Oh, wow! Well, I think at your time they may have been, at least, MORE racist than they are now, but Korea and Koreans have been changing these past years.

      I’m glad you feel better, and I don’t know where your life has taken you, but I hope you’ve been to Korea already or get to go to Korea someday!^^ And– if you’re not already married, there are several famous Korean woman who got married in their 40’s, so you never really know when it comes to both age and race?!

      (Not saying it’s easy to get beyond either, though… Haha)

      Have a blessed day, too, and thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Hello, I’m a black girl, also interested in Korean Males. I’m still at a young age(Just turned 17) and I really would like to go to Korea and explore. I have the option to go for the summer(We have a small smig of korean in our family, although it’s not present on me.) and I’m still beginning to learn Hangul, but I want to know if I should make the leep or not? Could you possibly recommend anything whether or not I should wait until I’m a bit older and what to look out for?

  8. 안녕하세요! Just letting you know that I’m following your blog. :-)

    I have a few, not many, questions I’d like to ask about your time in Korea. It’s 12:30 a.m. where I am and I need to be asleep. How do you prefer that I contact you?

  9. Wow I am simply amazed by how detailed and helpful this post is! I’m a Korean girl from Korea and I must say you’re pretty spot-on with this post about the general attitude of Koreans towards foreigners; it was really refreshing to know those things from a real black girl’s perspective, and I must say I’m in love with your blog! I’m definitely following you :)

    • Hi Evelyn!^^

      Whew, I’m glad you can agree with what I said! I do my best to just remember what I learned from my Korean friends here in America and in Korea.

      So, Korean culture is so popular right now, but there are so many stereotypes about Koreans and Korean culture– just like there are so many stereotypes about black people and black culture. :(

      I just hope more people can start learning more about other people and other cultures, too. I hope everyone can just follow their heart where ever it takes them.

      (Mine took me to Korea… keke)

  10. I think it is common nowadays. One thing about Korean men, they are honest and strongly in bed. Most of Korean guys treat a woman with full respect. They are friendly and loyal to relationship and marriage. They are intelligent. So, there are many interracial marriages between black girls and Korean boys and so on.

  11. Hello ^^ , your blog is very detailed and it is nice to read it :) . I am French- of Moroccan origin, and I study visual arts in Paris… As I wear the veil, I wondered if the “tense atmosphere” in the United States and Europe had hit Korea too hehe …. ? Also, if you (with your own eyes)have ever seen girls with hijeb and out anyway with friends. Because I like the country and I’d like to go and do lots of friendly meetings, to go out and visit all these beautiful places! =) this is what I want, and I think what I’m wearing is a detail because I am very kind and cheerful and open-minded. (I hope so hehe) :[) I also wanted to ask you one thing: I’ve read that you almost speaks the language fluently! (yeah!) I’d like to know how did you do to learn and how long have you reaches such a level ? Thank you very much, and “bisous” from France =))

  12. Yes, you are right=) there are even people who find it nice, it’s good to see people who are open and welcoming :D Thank you :) and good luck to enrich this blog which is already awesome ! ^^
    Maybe see you soon in Korea, who knows? =p And happy new year to you :) XX !

  13. Thank you you have given me a lot of confadence for when I go to koria when Iget older. It has always been a dream of mine to go koria or japan and meet the perfect guy. And one day I will acomplish that dream. You habe given me a lot of confadence thanks again

    • I’m glad, just be yourself and instead of looking for the perfect guy try to look for the guy who is right for you. He may be any race, but I don’t think the fact that he is a specific race (like Korean or Japanese) should keep you from being together and in love:)

  14. Such an interesting article. Made me think about myself. As a matter of fact, the fact that Korea is yet very conservative about foreigners makes it difficult to date foreign person, or at least made me get a lot of attention from other people. Even though, there are many Korean guys like me who love black girls.

    • Yes, but although Koreans can be judgmental about who you are with or date, they can also be simply curious and kind. So, I hope you meet someone who doesn’t mind a little extra attention when she goes out with you!^^

  15. westerngirleasternboy – You are profoundly awesome. I have been reading your blog and am hopeful for my future. I am 44 yrs old and am looking for that long term relationship. I would prefer a Korean man but don’t even know where to start. I love their history and culture.

    • Thanks so much! I just want to say before I devote more time and attention to the question of age in Korea that many (Korean) women in Korea your age are also unmarried. They do find love, although it just takes them longer!

      In fact, I know that younger Korean men do like older women in general, although older Korean men who are unmarried do seem to also date and marry much younger as you’ll see in my post on Dating in Korea.

      (http://westerngirleasternboy.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/dating-in-korea/)

      Korean guys (who are worth your time) are pretty good about taking you as you are if they genuinely like you:) I’ve known Korean guys who were okay adopting (although this is rare!) and even okay dating and marrying outside of their race.

  16. What resources would you recommend for learning Korean? Also, do Korean boys/men like taller girls? (I’m 5’7 x3)

  17. Hello! I’ve been reading your site for a long time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent
    job!

  18. Girl you are amazing! I can’t believe I just found your blog, and every post is so interesting. You talked about having a “Korean wave” lmao and the same thing is happening to me lol.
    I never thought I would be into Korean dramas/pop/hip hop/food/ppl/culture etc, but I guess when your open minded you learn new things everyday:D

    I wanted to know if you had any advice on deciding on whether or not you wanted to live there because part of me would feel weird living so far from my family/ friends. Your seriously inspirational when it comes to your confidence/style. Also, what are some good places/cities to go when you first go to Korea to visit.

    Srry for so many questions lol but how long did it take you to learn to speak/have conversations in korean? p.s i just started learning the alphabet and stacking. Lastly um do you have any advice on actually learning the vocab to know what the words mean? I wanted to learn soon bcuz i’m going to a kpop convention in LA in august:D Thanks girl!

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